Week 14 Notes - African and Chinese Art
Week 14 Notes - African and Chinese Art THFM 4600
Popular in Period, Style, and Form
Popular in Theatre
Choy Sing Ying
verified elite notetaker
This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashleigh Schneider on Friday November 27, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to THFM 4600 at Bowling Green State University taught by Margaret McCubbin in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Period, Style, and Form in Theatre at Bowling Green State University.
Reviews for Week 14 Notes - African and Chinese Art
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
Date Created: 11/27/15
Period Style and Form Week 14 Monday African Art Chinese Art African Art I About African Art 0 Arts range from body decoration to architecture household objects instruments and sculpture 0 African art is mainly based on religion 0 Bantu beliefs 0 Life should be lived vigorously using and generating active force I Three basic thoughts on this 0 Existence can be stronger or weaker growth of life 0 One force can exert an effect on another in uence upon life I Forces are graded in a hierarchy gradation of life 0 Things that are above allither forces I God 0 Grants existence to other forces I Ancestral spirits and spirits of natural forces who go between God and man I Tribal elders I Animals I Plants and minerals I The application of the forces of nature that God has given to man to strengthen his vital force I Spirits can be manipulated 0 Art 0 Artists are a special part of society I Sometimes honored sometimes feared 0 Art forms cannot be expressed in just naturalistic shapes I Mainly used abstract I Only purely secular art uses naturalism O Sculpture I Stylistic characteristics 0 Oversized heads Squat bodies Stiff symmetrical gestures 0 Human figures are usually frontal and nude I Aspects of African sculpture 0 Relative importance given to individual details re ects the symbolic purpose I When geometric abstraction occurs it is vigorous and pleasing 0 Despite abstraction individual forms have an awareness of the shapes and movements of men and animals I Animal sculpture is less common than human 0 Masks I Used to invoke active participation of spirits for protection and help I Contain elements of both humans and animals but may also be abstract 0 The more abstract the idea the more abstract the form I Made from many different materials including woven materials I All decoration has symbolic importance 0 Westerners and African art I Believed African art objects to be heathen idols I Only interested in sculptural forms not meanings I Much of their information about art and its usage comes from 0 Written reports of outsiders 0 Oral traditions O The artist as an individual I Art is most often listed by tribal or geographic origin I Specific styles associated with specific groups of people I Much African art is genderspecific 0 Men metal workers carvers architects and builders 0 Women wall and body painters potters and clay sculptors 0 Both beads baskets and textiles 0 Fetish 0 Objects are endowed with magical powers for specific purposes 0 May be either offensive or defensive 0 Primordial CoupleAncestor FiguresFertility Figures 0 One of the major concerns of African life is continuity I the future of a family rests on the ability to produce and rear children 0 Fertility figures I Represent the original couple and each generation thereafter I Often kept in shrines and belong to the village or a secret society I The founding mother is the primary female deity and the child she carries represents culture 0 Initiations 0 Most frequently celebrated ritual is the passing from childhood to adulthood 0 Total initiation may take twenty years or more to achieve I Begins with the symbolic death of the child and separation from the life he has known I Then there is a transition period devoted to learning adult secrets and responsibilities I Finally there is the incorporation into adult status Seasonal CelebrationsCrises 0 Festivals are held to maintain the cycle of fertility 0 Special rituals associated with crises like drought illness and infertility 0 Types of doctors consulted I A real doctor or herbalist I The diviner who diagnoses the problem I The witch doctor who exorcises the evil spirit responsible O Masks are used to keep the culture in balance and maintain fertility and health Governance 0 Two basic types of governments I Centralized authority usually with a king 0 The king was the ritual and secular head of state 0 Often had a semidivine status 0 There were certain types of art that were reserved for the king I Noncentralized authority chiefs and elders I Used masks and other ritual objects to manipulate social order Status and Display 0 The position of an individual is shown through body markings hair arrangement and dress I Distinguish gender age status and associations of a person Death 0 Thought of as a transition to another active state 0 Each death has a cause 0 The funeral ceremony may involve hunting the witches who caused the death Architecture 0 Little surviving traditional historical architecture 0 The amount and type of decoration on buildings is part religious and part a re ection of status I Decorative motifs are often symbolic O The peak of prosperity and building was most likely from 14501833 Chinese Art About Chinese art 0 Strongly in uenced by religious and philosophical thought 0 Three basic traditions of religion in order of in uence I Confucianism 0 System of ethics based on the writings of Confucius 0 Believe that man is born good and society makes him evil 0 Main teachings involve man s relationship to man Painting This was the highestranked art form Figure painting was important first but landscape painting eventually became O O Buddhism 0 Based on the idea of a life dedicated to moderation and upholding moral right 0 Spiritual detachment was prized as was an enjoyment of nature Taoism 0 Believed that one should return good for evil one should attempt to achieve an understanding of man and nature based on love and through meditation one achieves an intuitive communication Various periods of repression for all of these religions with accompanying repression of associated art supreme Characteristics of Chinese painting Cast shadows are nonexistent because there is no specific light source Stressed the spontaneity of a vision Subjects are most often painted from memory or imagination The primary concern is communicating the poetic experience in the presence of nature Most has either architecture or a figure in it Bamboo Symbolized the superior man who can adapt to conditions without sacrificing integrity 0 There was a canon for the technical and brushwork aspects of Chinese painting Sculpture et al 0 Shang Dynasty Began creating elaborate bronze ceremonial vessels 0 Major decorative elements are stylized animals 0 Chou Dynasty Continued the development of ritual vessels Much of this period s art was created for the demands of feudal courts Jade carving was extremely popular 0 Considered to be the keeper of the life force which is why it was used in burial suits Lacquer work reached a peak of perfection O Ch in Dynasty This dynasty is responsible for China s name The Great Wall was started during this era This emperor is known for destroying historical books and burying alive thousands of Confucian soldiers 0 T ang Dynasty I A civil service based on examination was developed I Sculpture took on elements of Indian art 0 Ceramic figures were buried with the dead for use in the afterlife O Sung Dynasty I China became more cut off from outside in uences and the art was more purely Chinese I Artists worked under the Imperial patronage and a painter was always on duty in case a notable event happened that needed to be recorded 0 Yuan Dynasty I The Mongols were governing China 0 Many artists ed to the provinces so they wouldn t have to work for the barbarians but art was still being created I Contacts with Europe became more extensive 0 Ming Dynasty I Best known for their carved red lacquer work 0 Ch ing Dynasty I Had the greatest contact with Europe 0 Large trade imbalance since everyone wanted Chinese goods but the Chinese didn t want anything Western I Bought opium from the British which led to Chinese civil and trade wars I The best jade work is from this period 0 Architecture 0 Walls and gates are a dominant cultural aspect I Considered instruments of order and security I Pailou freestanding gates that may be purely ceremonial and were erected in honor of heroes or events 0 The Great Wall I The original wall was allowed to disintegrate and no longer exists 0 Elements of Chinese houses temples and cities I Walled enclosures I Courtyards I A northsouth orientation and axis 0 Freestanding walls were built inside buildings to de ect demons or spirits 0 Earth and wood were the basis of all building in ancient China and elements of this appear in modern housing as well 0 The Emperor 0 Coordination between man and nature was the Emperor s job 0 Ruled by heavenly mandate but not a god more like a father I His palace was where heaven earth and man met Wednesday Thanksgiving Break